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In common with most of the Puglian Cattedrali, the nave of Bitonto Cattedrale has 12 massive columns with original capitals, including the odd little fella (below).  The recently restored and repainted beamed roof is magic !   On the right are the font (nearest the camera), the pulpit and the ambo.



Frederick II and family grace the stairway to the ambo (below - that's a pulpit look alike but for readings not preachings - there is a separate pulpit for that - the one closer to the camera in the photo above above). 


The bird (eagle, sometimes toucan look-alike, etc), holding up the book (bible) rest and in turn being held up by Saint Mark form a typical Puglian medieval ambo ensemble, some of which date back to the 1000s.


In this magnificent case, and unusually for the times, the artist has left his name (Nicolaus - 1229) behind (twice) with justifiable clarity.  One source names Nicolaus as the architect of the Campanile of Trani Cathedral.





Sacristan Vito Valentino cheerfully offered to unlock the crypt and excavation areas under the cattedrale, and gave the Dom a lengthy and fascinating guided tour, patiently waiting whilst photos were taken, and taken, and .........



An ugly landing at the base of the column at the head of the stairs to the crypt ..... there's quite a few of these bifurcated mermen around the cathedrals of Puglia ....


Link to more Mermaids



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